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Serial CEO Incentives and the Structure of Managerial Contracts

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  • Giannetti, Mariassunta

Abstract

This paper analyzes the optimal contracting consequences of a recent phenomenon in the managerial labour market, CEO job hopping. I show that if the managerial labour market is thin and firm growth opportunities are weak, the optimal contract rewards the CEO for past performance through a bonus. Nevertheless, the CEO takes a long horizon in selecting corporate strategies. If firm growth opportunities improve, but prospects of job-hopping remain limited, the optimal contract includes restricted-equity-like claims, but overall compensation does not increase. However, if the managerial labour market provides more opportunities for job-hopping, large differences in the structure and the level of managerial compensation emerge. If firm growth opportunities are weak, it is optimal to offer a bonus contract, even though the CEO selects an inefficient short-term strategy. If firm growth opportunities are strong, a large amount of long-term equity compensation mitigates short-termist incentives. This drives a surge in CEO compensation. I show that, under these conditions, the optimal contract may include non-restricted equity even though the main problem is managerial retention. Finally, I argue that the model can explain both the surge in U.S. CEO compensation and the differences in managerial compensation across countries and across firms within a country.

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  • Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2007. "Serial CEO Incentives and the Structure of Managerial Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 6422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6422
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    Cited by:

    1. Mishra, Dev R., 2014. "The dark side of CEO ability: CEO general managerial skills and cost of equity capital," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 390-409.
    2. Custódio, Cláudia & Ferreira, Miguel A. & Matos, Pedro, 2013. "Generalists versus specialists: Lifetime work experience and chief executive officer pay," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 471-492.
    3. Michael L. Bognanno, 2010. "Executive Compensation: A Brief Review," DETU Working Papers 1002, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    4. repec:eee:corfin:v:48:y:2018:i:c:p:428-441 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2014. "Growth, Selection and Appropriate Contracts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(1), pages 21-38, January.
    6. Gao, Huasheng & Luo, Juan & Tang, Tilan, 2015. "Effects of managerial labor market on executive compensation: Evidence from job-hopping," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 203-220.
    7. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:150-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pierre Chaigneau, 2010. "The Optimal Timing of Executive Compensation," FMG Discussion Papers dp660, Financial Markets Group.
    9. repec:eee:corfin:v:48:y:2018:i:c:p:217-243 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The Optimal Timing of CEO Compensation," Cahiers de recherche 1207, CIRPEE.
    11. Rustam, Sehrish & Rashid, Kashif & Zaman, Khalid, 2013. "The relationship between audit committees, compensation incentives and corporate audit fees in Pakistan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 697-716.
    12. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Kuhnen, Camelia M., 2013. "CEO turnover in a competitive assignment framework," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 351-372.
    13. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2014. "Does globalization create superstars? A simple theory of managerial wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 34-51.
    14. Jie Chen & Xicheng Liu & Wei Song, 2018. "CEO general managerial skills and corporate social responsibility," Working Papers 2018-16, Swansea University, School of Management.
    15. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jörgen, 2015. "Pay Schemes, Bargaining, and Competition for Talent," Working Paper Series 1100, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    16. Giannetti, Mariassunta & Metzger, Daniel, 2015. "Compensation and competition for talent: Evidence from the financial industry," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 11-16.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    executive compensation; managerial labour market; short-termism;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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